FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Nice weather to start work week; eyes on Zeta Wednesday

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Nice weather to start work week; eyes on Zeta Wednesday

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The weather will remain quiet to start the work/school week. Monday will stay dry with partly cloudy skies and a decent warming trend.

The morning start could see some patchy fog with lows at or near 60. Afternoon temperatures will reach the mid 80s.

Outer rainbands from Zeta will begin to push into south Louisiana Tuesday afternoon and evening. Within these rainbands will be the potential for strong gusty winds and occasional heavy downpours.

10-day forecast
10-day forecast (Source: WAFB)

Zeta appears headed towards the central Gulf Coast region, but the question remains exactly where. Model spread is about 300 miles from farthest west TX/LA border to farthest east MS/AL border. Until we get better weather model agreement the forecast related to Zeta will remain low confidence.

We do expect the most significant impacts to stay to the east of the center due to prevalent southwesterly wind shear. Zeta is also forecast to make landfall Wednesday most likely during the afternoon. The official NHC forecast has Zeta a strong Tropical Storm at landfall but a Category 1 Hurricane can’t be ruled out.

For now, the local area looks to remain on the west (less impactful) side of Zeta’s circulation. Because of that the forecast reflects minimal issues locally. But as mentioned previous the forecast path is a low confidence forecast.

Zeta timeline
Zeta timeline (Source: WAFB)

The main reason why confidence is low is due to Zeta’s current unorganized presentation and how exactly the steering currents will materialize. A lot will depend on how quickly a trough develops in the SW U.S. and how quickly it can push east causing Zeta to turn quickly to the north and northeast. Because of this quick forward speed, rainfall amounts should remain manageable.

Based on the current NHC forecast the turn is forecast to take place Tuesday afternoon. If the turn is delayed more of South Louisiana will feel impacts related to Zeta. Surge along the coast and within the tidal lakes remains the main concern related to Zeta.

Zeta possible impacts
Zeta possible impacts (Source: WAFB)

The trough responsible for turning Zeta will also drag a cold front across the area. This cold front will deliver cooler and drier air to South Louisiana beginning Thursday afternoon and carrying over into the Halloween weekend. Halloween will see below normal temperatures with Trick or Treaters seeing temperatures in the mid to low 60s Saturday night.

Don’t forget to fall back an hour Saturday night into Sunday morning as we end Daylight Saving Time. The Louisiana law keeping us in Daylight Saving Time has not taken effect yet.

The weather will remain quiet and fairly normal by the beginning of next week.

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